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  • Our picks

    • "No bibles, no preaching, no god-bothering!" These were the conditions B put upon his two brothers, who had recently converted to Pentecostal Christianity, if he were to visit them while on holidays. What happened next would change the course of his life and still continues to impact who he is today.
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    • I owe pittsburghjoe, along with every member participating in this discussion 
      for helping free me from my former Christian belief.
       
      I'm forced to admit to myself and anyone reading here that as a Christian I had never truly considered the extent to which all Christian belief rests upon the silly-assed irrational concept of "original sin".
       
      There was no one in the Garden with an iPhone recording video, people.
      There was no one there with a quill and scroll of parchment writing it all down.
      There were no eye-witnesses at all.
       
      It's a MYTH.  A silly, ancient myth.
       
        • Like
    • My attached short essay on Precession as the Framework of Christian Origins was published last year as an Appendix in The Christ Conspiracy Second Edition by DM Murdock (Acharya S).  (4000 words)
      I helped Dr Robert M. Price to edit this new second edition. This book was quite controversial when it first came out in 1999, with its uncompromising presentation of the hypothesis that the myth of Jesus Christ arose as a personification of the Sun.  I agree with this argument, and consider that it presents a complex and coherent perspective on religion.
      Before her death in 2015, Acharya began editing her planned CC second edition, aiming to remove some of the more contentious material and present her main arguments more clearly. I had worked closely with her on some areas of her analysis of astrotheology, so was pleased to be able to help with this work, and enjoyed going through the book in detail to edit it. 
      My own long term theological interest is in this topic of Precession as the Framework of Christian Origins, which I consider provides a compelling scientific explanation of many of the perspectives that Acharya presents. This idea helps to explain the role of conspiracy in Christianity, firstly among the secret Gnostic mystic philosophers who first developed the Christ Myth as allegory, and secondly in the orthodox church, as they systematically rewrote Christian origins to exclude its founding natural cosmology and pretend that the events described in the Gospels actually happened.  
      As a hypothesis, the precession hypothesis raises such controversial material that it is difficult to discuss. The essential argument is that Jesus Christ was deliberately invented as avatar of the zodiac ages of Pisces and Aquarius. I think this idea should be of interest to ex-Christians, as a way to help excavate the abiding truths that are hidden beneath the supernatural rubble of Christendom. 
      I would welcome any questions or critique or conversation about the ideas in this paper.
      Thanks
      Precession as the Framework of Christian Origins by Robert Tulip, published in The Christ Conspiracy Second Edition.pdf
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      • 101 replies
    • Ecclesiastes 12:13 and the Meaning of Life
      Ecclesiastes 12:13 (ESV): The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.
       
      To which I ask: That's all you've got?
       
      I've never set goals. Really! Oh, I did finish college (after changing my major 3 times), but I've always lived my life a day at a time. And I've always found my "meaning" in my responsibilities. I have work, I have family, and I have things to do. What more meaning do I need? Well, I know what's going on in the world and have discussions about it, and contribute to causes and organizations that I feel are important, and I vote -- so there's more meaning. I'm thinking more and more about how I'm going to be able to retire and I should have made that more important many years ago, but even now I wouldn't call it a goal. I need to get as much put away as I can, but I don't really think I want to retire. I just know that I'll have to some day.
       
      The meaning in life just comes along. I have grandchildren and I love to spend time with them. I love having grown-up conversations with my kids and their spouses. I enjoy spending the evenings with my wife, even when it's boring, because we're together. I enjoy listening to music, but not as much as I used to. I listen to podcasts in the car while commuting every day. All of that stuff is just there, but it has meaning.
       
      Largely, this day-to-day attitude that I was either born with or picked up somehow has meant that I never thought about Heaven or Hell, and certainly never imagined what they would be like. Apologists sometimes say that without eternity, life is absurd. Maybe that's so, but eternity is absurd, also. How can sitting in front of a throne worshiping a deity forever and ever be meaningful?
       
      "Meaningful" is making things work, getting things done. Meaningful is enjoying a good meal. Meaningful is enjoying a fast-food meal. Meaningful is laughing with your friends and family. Meaningful is laughing at a TV show or a movie. Meaningful is experiencing anything -- a relationship or a story or anything -- that brings out emotion, happy or sad or just deep. Meaning and purpose are found in the everyday tasks and entertainment and relationships we experience. No ultimate goal is required. In fact, believing that there's an ultimate goal takes away from the true meaning, which is found in the everyday.
       
      And after life is over? Meaning is for the living who remember you.
       
      Maybe you're young and don't have some of those things, but you still have a 24-hour day that's full of meaning. Over time, the meaning changes, but it's there already, every waking hour.
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    • What follows is just a trace of the essence of a thought I've been having lately,  so forgive me if it's not terribly coherent. Feel free to critique,  disagree with,  or otherwise challenge what follows. I'm just trying to approach making sense. I want my thinking to be stretched on this, so please challenge me.
       
      I have often heard it asserted that something cannot come from nothing. I've also heard it asked (usually in a tone of voice which suggests a certain profundity) that something cannot come from nothing.  Now,  there are various possible responses to this,  and I've engaged in a number of arguments here and elsewhere regarding this assertion. In general,  I think a great deal turns on what one means by "nothing". But this is by the by, at least for now.
       
      Recently, on these boards, I have asserted that I've heard it said that something can emerge spontaneously from the quantum vacuum. But also, that I've heard it said that the quantum vacuum is not nothing. And further, that arguments have been made to the effect that no other kind of "nothing" is possible. Well, this is all very nice, but it does still leave the layperson pondering the original question: why is there something rather than nothing? And how does something come about from nothing?
       
      These are questions that deserves to be taken seriously. But they are also questions which demand that we take them seriously. That is to say, the subject and the content of the questions matter a great deal,  but so do the presuppositions of the questions. So if we are to move forward here, it seems to me that we must proceed with caution.
       
      To put it very bluntly, the question "why is there something rather than nothing" seems to me to presuppose that there ought to be nothing, but nevertheless, there is something. I think that if we think about this for more than a minute,  we will all realize that this is nonsensical.
       
      When have we ever experienced nothing?
       
      Could we ever experience nothing?
       
      It seems to me that the very nature of experience is that it is of something. But this is to say, we have no reason, and can have no reason to think that nothing is even a possibility. 
       
      To put this another way, try considering the original question in reverse. Why is there something rather than nothing, and how did it come about? No. Why might there be nothing rather than something, and does that even make sense?
       
      I think you'll find that it doesn't make sense. Or so it seems to me right now.
        • Like
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